Advent Offering 2019
Homelessness & Hospitality
Please donate generously to Mission in Britain to answer Jesus’
call and help those most in need this Advent
What is this year's theme?
Our theme for this year's Advent Offering for the Mission in Britain Fund is ‘Homelessness & Hospitality’. It focuses on personal stories from people with experience of homelessness who are making positive changes to their life thanks to the hospitality of the Bristol Methodist Centre. The support they are receiving is varied: from meals, clothes and shower facilities to one-to-one counselling, help with benefits and prayer.
According to the housing charity Shelter, more than 320,000 people in the UK were without a home at the end of 2018 – and the numbers just keep on rising. Join us in lifting the veil of stigma surrounding homeless people to reveal the real human heart beating beneath.
We also take a look at the Homeless Jesus statues that, from 2013 onwards, have mushroomed all around the world. The life-size sculptures are a visual translation of Matthew 25:37-40, a powerful reminder that “… just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
What resources are available?
The all-age worship materials are designed to complement each other, but they can also be used as stand-alone. Feel free to pick and choose what will work best for your church!
The resources range from the more traditional – such as the popular Candle Liturgy, suggested Bible passages and hymns to complement this year’s theme – to interactive materials such as a video and PowerPoint as well as concrete ideas on how you can put your faith into action and help the homeless.
There are role plays and talking points which are particularly suited for engaging children and young people. We have also included Leader’s Notes, a suggested Order of Service and prayers you can use at different parts of your service.
At the heart of the resources are the first-hand stories from the people being helped by the Bristol Methodist Centre. These stories can be shared by showing the short video, using the PowerPoint or through printing out the pdf of the stories, which can then be read out.
When is Advent this year?
Advent starts on Sunday, 1 December this year. Be sure to book the date for your Advent Offering service with your church or circuit!
The Advent Offering service is a Connexion-wide event to ask for your prayers and help for our work. The donations collected will go towards the Mission in Britain Fund, which supports many inspiring projects across Britain.
Advent Offering collection envelopes are available in English and in Welsh. Apologies for the delay, the envelopes can now be ordered through Methodist Publishing (updated 4 December 2019).
How do I collect donations and Gift Aid?
Churches should do the following:
1. Collect the Advent Offering collection envelopes.
2. Open the envelopes. Pay the money into the church bank account.
3. Give the opened collection envelopes to your church or circuit Gift Aid Secretary (or equivalent) so they can process the Gift Aid claim.
4. Write a cheque payable to the Mission in Britain Fund for the total amount collected and give it to the Mission in Britain Circuit Fund Treasurer. The Mission in Britain Circuit Fund Treasurer will deposit the donations into the Mission in Britain bank account using the Advent Offering paying-in book.
What if your church isn’t set up to collect Gift Aid, or if you get a cheque made out to the Mission in Britain Fund?
1. Send the cheques and the envelopes they came in (which include Gift Aid information) to your Mission in Britain Circuit Fund Treasurer.
2. If you have cash to pay in, don’t send it in the post. Pay it into your church account and raise a cheque for the equivalent amount payable to Mission in Britain.)
3. The Mission in Britain Circuit Fund Treasurer will deposit the money in the Mission in Britain Fund and send the envelopes with a covering letter quoting reference code ADV0001 and the circuit reference number stating the total amount raised and the date the donations were banked to the Finance Department at Methodist Church House.
Further information relevant to both options:
If your circuit does not have a Mission in Britain Fund Treasurer, or cannot get in touch with them, please send the cheque for the total amount collected to the Finance Department at Methodist Church House, with a covering letter stating the reference code ADV0001 as well as your circuit number to help us identify the Advent Offering donations.
If you have any queries, need further assistance or would like to order a paying-in book, please contact the Finance Department at Methodist Church House by calling 020 7486 5502 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any problems downloading these resources, please email email@example.com
Thank you for supporting Mission in Britain to enable Methodist projects to offer hospitality to the homeless this winter.
Meet some of the people who will share their story for this year’s Advent Offering:
"I used to live in a flat, but then got into rent arrears, so they evicted me… I’m just someone who is trying to get their life back together."
"It’s tough out there, and for a woman, it’s dangerous too. The centre is the place where I feel the safest. I don't know what I’d do without them."
"It’s really hard to live in a tent. I’m never sure whether my belongings will still be there when I get back. I try to stay safe, but when you’re homeless there is no security. It’s a lonely life.”